Final Word from Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Nongovernmental organizations asked Václav Klaus yesterday to apologize for saying that NGOs are a threat to democracy. He had warned, in English, against "manifold forces, structures and groupings (not of the state itself), which - without a democratic mandate - try to directly decide (or at least basically influence) various crucial and sensitive public issues." His manifold sentence structure aside, he could just as easily have been talking about business groups with no democratic mandate that grease through such things as the "squeeze-out" provision he signed recently (against the advice of his legal team). Lawyer Tomáš Richter warned in Euro that the provision could allow 90% owners to force out small shareholders without paying them. Klaus's rhetoric against NGOs is unfortunate but ultimately harmless; his ongoing support of specific business groups is truly alarming. [Czech Republic nonprofit non-profit non-governmental commercial code Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz Nörr]


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